Belfast Giants coach Paul Adey must plan without suspended pair Adam Keefe and Jeff Szwez for the first of two home games against the Cardiff Devils.
The sides clash in an Elite League double-header at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday and Sunday.
Both players will be available for the second of the two fixtures as the Giants aim to consolidate their two-point lead at the top of the table.
Keefe is ending a four-match ban for charging in an earlier Cardiff game.
Szwez is serving a one-match suspension for leaving the bench to take part in an altercation during Saturday night's Challenge Cup game in Braehead.
"It's not fun to have to sit in the stands and watch," admitted Keefe ahead of the weekend games.
Adey said he was encouraged by the performances of his side in last week's games against Nottingham and Braehead.
"The situation with Adam and Jeff makes it a little bit more difficult in training and we'll have to change things a little bit from Saturday to Sunday.
"They are games where we'll just have to find a way," he added.
Cardiff announced on Wednesday that Gerad Adams will no longer coach or play for the side.
Adams, who has been with the club for nine years, will instead see out the remaining six months of his contract as head of player development, while bench coach Neil Francis has resigned.
Managing director Brent Pope will become caretaker coach, supported by Mark Cuddihy as bench coach.